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 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
Ancient Egypt

The cow of Hathor

Height: 35.500 cm (max.)
Width: 16.500 cm (max.)
Length: 34.800 cm (max.)

EA 42179

The cow of Hathor

From: Deir el-Bahari, Egypt
Date: 18th Dynasty, around 1450 BC

Hathor, the cow goddess, stood for female love and joy. She was also shown as ‘Goddess of the West’, welcoming people into the next life.

Hathor was usually shown as a woman who wore a sun between a pair of cow's horns on her head. This statue of a cow is from Hathor’s shrine, a place in the temple where people would leave special gifts for Hathor, called offerings. It would have had golden horns and a feather head-dress, and eyes decorated with sparkling crystals and bright blue lapis lazuli. You can still see remains of the dramatic eye make-up that the statue wore.